IRL keen to nominate next Commissioner from Estonia

02.01.2014, 10:27

Urmas Reinsalu, Minister of Defence and chairman of IRL, a partner of the ruling coalition, said that IRL was keen to nominate the next European Commissioner from its ranks.

Reinsalu told Eesti Päevaleht that while there are speculations that Prime Minister Andrus Ansip is pursuing the job, it is IRL that wants to nominate the next candidate.

"As part of political culture, the logic is that the next commissioner will be from IRL whose European umbrella party is the European People's Party, the largest faction in the European Parliament, which would clearly increase the weight of the next Estonian commissioner," said Reinsalu.

He added that he considered it highly likely that the European People's Party will win the next European Parliament elections and will nominate the next European Comimssioner.

Reinsalu said that IRL had not made up a shortlist of candidates, but added that Economy Minister Juhan Parts was definitely a person who is capable of meeting the requirements.

When Reform Party and IRL agreed on setting up the coalition, they proposed that ex-PM Mart Laar from IRL could be the next European Commissioner from Estonia.

Since Laar is now chairman of the supervisory board of Estonian Central Bank, it is up to IRL to find the next candidate.

European Parliament elections will be held in May 2014.